View Full Version : Dentistry in London - SICKO STYLE

Gregory Tenenbaum
October 16th, 2007, 12:27 PM
In this thread, Brooklyn Rider said that he would like to move to London and open a dentistry practice:


Well, heres the big chance.

Hot on the heals of the movie Sicko, we have grim news from London:

Patients pull own teeth as dental contract falters

Survey reveals lack of access to NHS treatment
Around 50% say they do not understand fee system

Sarah Boseley, health editor
Monday October 15, 2007
The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/)

Large numbers of people are going without dental treatment and some even report extracting their own teeth because they cannot find an NHS dentist in their area, a survey reveals today.The Dentistry Watch survey of more than 5,000 people, from the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health, found widespread unhappiness among both patients and dentists despite government reforms to increase the availability of NHS dentistry. More than three-quarters of those who have a private dentist consider they were forced into it because their own dentist went private or they could not find an NHS dentist.

Just over 10% were not registered with a dentist at all. A third of those (35%) said there were no NHS dentists nearby, 22% said they did not know how to find one, 13% said they were on a waiting list and 30% said there were other reasons.But 6% of the respondents said they were self-treating, which often included pulling out their own troublesome teeth. "Fourteen teeth have had to be removed by myself using pliers," said one Lancashire respondent. "Have pulled teeth out before, easier than finding a dentist," said one in Hull. "Because I could not afford the treatment cost, I had to extract my own tooth on one occasion," said one in Harrow. "I took most of my teeth out in the shed with pliers. I have one to go," said another in Wiltshire.
Some of the respondents show considerable ingenuity. "Filled own teeth - clove oil and Polyfilla," said one in Essex. Another fixed a crown with Superglue and a third used a screwdriver to scrape off plaque.
The survey was carried out by Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) Forums around England. It was triggered by complaints received by PPIs following a new contract for dentists in April 2006, which was supposed to increase access and simplify the charges levied on NHS patients.
Almost half the 5,212 respondents said they did not understand the charging system and 20% of those with NHS dentists went without treatment because of the cost. There are three treatment bands - 15.90 for a basic examination and x-rays, 43.60 if treatment such as root canals is also carried out and 194 if construction work such as crowns is included. In August the Department of Health announced a drop of 50,000 in the numbers attending an NHS dentist, to 28 million. It also said there had been a shortfall in the expected revenue of 159m as a result.
Most (84%) of the 750 dentists surveyed said the contract had not made it easier for patients to get NHS treatment and 45% said their practice was not taking new NHS patients. A majority (68%) had either reduced or kept the same number of NHS patients as the year before.
Fixed charging bands meant dentists were better off if they treated people who needed less work, they said. "If one orange costs 10p, then 10 oranges cost 1. BUT if one filling costs 43.60, ten fillings cost 43.69. RUBBISH," wrote one dentist in Sheffield. "There is no incentive in the contract to take on new patients who often have high needs. I feel the contract discriminates against people who probably need me most," wrote another.
Norman Lamb, Liberal Democrat health spokesman, said: "Eight years after Labour promised that everyone would have access to an NHS dentist, this survey shows the system is at breaking point."


October 16th, 2007, 01:02 PM
I bet one could get a nice little side business going making dental kits that would include toothpaste, a toothbrush, Superglue, a pliers...

A Deluxe Kit could include all of that plus a screwdriver, grout, and different grades of sandpaper.

October 16th, 2007, 01:41 PM
This isn't news or politics.

Gregory Tenenbaum, might I suggest you start a blog (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/blog.php) for your anglophilic musings?

October 16th, 2007, 02:02 PM
Here's the actual report, sans guardian:

Most of the examples listed in Gregs quote seem to be long term self-dental technicians. If one guy was going "out to the shed" to remove his teeth, of which he removed 14 of already, I doubt they all fell out in a year because of the change in dental NHS plans.

Although I sympathise with teh huge PITA it probably is to go and find a new dentist (or any other doctor) because of a health care change, being from teh US where I have to pay for it AND where my insurance has changed several times because of companies and rates, I do not see what all the hubaloo is about.

They are not used to changing, there is an adjustment time, and if peopel are still falling through the gaps they need to help them.

October 17th, 2007, 03:08 AM
Move along...nothing to see here....:rolleyes:

Medical care is largely free, in the UK. Dentistry isn't.
This is true in many countries, to varying degrees.
When my sister-in-law started practicing dentistry in Spain (dunno about now) the only dental work the local NHS would pay for was extractions...:eek:

Nearly all dental work in Italy is done privately. When MHs' were set up in msot countries, most dentistry was considered 'cosmetic' and therefore not an acceptable public expense. :(

October 17th, 2007, 09:51 AM
What as fascinating thread.

An incredible revelation, well done Greggs old chap!!!

I don't bother with a dentist as my teeth all fell out when i was 5 years old, rotten of course (like everyone else here). Now i use wooden false teeth which i had to fasion myself as to buy a new pair would cost about $100,000. And as you know we don't have any dentists anyway.

Keep up these wonderful threads Greggs, they really add spice and sparkle (not to mention intellectual discussion) to wired New York.:)